Drinkers fight added water, less buzz in Bud, Michelob

PHILADELPHIA – Irate beer lovers across the country have filed $5 million class-action lawsuits accusing Anheuser-Busch of watering down its Budweiser, Michelob and other brands.

The lawsuits were filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states on behalf of consumers allegedly cheated out of the beverage’s stated alcohol content. Budweiser and Michelob each boast being 5 percent alcohol, while some “light” versions are said to be just more than 4 percent.

Lead lawyer Josh Boxer of San Rafael, Calif., said Tuesday the lawsuits are based on information from former employees at some of the company’s 13 U.S. breweries. Boxer said water is added just before bottling, and cuts the stated alcohol content by 3 to 8 percent.

The multinational Anheuser-Busch InBev denied any culpability, calling the claims groundless, and saying its beers fully comply with labeling laws.